The museum is moving to a new home in the surviving South West pavilion of a house built for King Charles II during the 17th century.
Under Mather & Co’s proposed designs, visitors will get the chance to ‘meet’ a hologram of jockey Frankie Dettori and race each other head-to-head on a horse simulator.
Cheshire-based consultancy Mather & Co came through a tender process in October to win the contract and has already developed a design and visualisation, which is being used by Newmarket’s Home of Horceracing Trust to bid for Heritage Lottery Fund support.
Scheduled for completion in 2014, the museum will relocate across Newmarket to The Palace House Stables site, which has been earmarked for the project and was used for training racehorses, producing 17 winners between 1837 and 1926.
The move has been prompted by a desire to create a centre that celebrates ‘the development of the thoroughbred horse, sporting art in Great Britain’ and Newmarket’s contribution to the sport, according to Mather & Co.
Mather & Co’s design comprises a museum in the outer yard of the stables, the gallery of the British Sporting Art Trust in Palace House, an education centre in the Mews and a working yard to be used by the Retraining of Racehorses charity in the adjoining yard and paddocks. The HHT is an umbrella organisation for the four attractions.
Within the museum, visitors will be able to race each other on a ‘multiple horse simulator’ and new opportunities for ‘object theatre’ – looking at silverwear – will be made, according to lead designer Paul Lee.
There will be hologram Pepper’s Ghost technology used ‘to bring people like Frankie Dettori to life,’ says Lee.
‘You can ask questions and have a slightly pre-led conversation with him. And his horse might wander in,’ Lee adds.
The new museum will also be given a scientific emphasis, with a thoroughbred gallery showing a sculptural 3D-projection of a galloping horse.
By slowing down the projection visitors will be able to analyse the loads bearing down on a horse’s hooves, its lung capacity and blood flow.